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Opponent Watch: Wolves could be without six first-team stars for Manchester United clash

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Sasa Kalajdzic of Wolverhampton Wanderers is challenged by Armel Bella-Kotchap and Mohammed Salisu of Southampton.

Wolves could be without six first-team players vs Manchester United

According to the official Manchester United club website, Wolverhampton Wanderers could be without six first-team stars when the two sides meet on New Year’s Eve.

United started the Premier League restart in blistering fashion with an impressive 3-0 win over Nottingham Forest and Erik ten Hag would want to carry on the momentum when they meet Wolves on Saturday.

Wolves have had a rather disappointing season so far and currently sit 18th in the league. However, we know about the bounce of new managers more than anyone, having recently been the first victim of a resurgent Aston Villa side under Unai Emery.

Sevilla's Spanish coach Julen Lopetegui on the sidelines. (Photo by CRISTINA QUICLER / AFP) (Photo by CRISTINA QUICLER/AFP via Getty Images)
Wolverhampton Wanderers coach Julen Lopetegui will be looking to cause an upset at Old Trafford. (Photo by CRISTINA QUICLER/AFP via Getty Images)

Our opposition’s new manager Julen Lopetegui had the perfect start to his Premier League career with a win over Everton with Wolves coming back from a goal down to score two, including the winner in injury time.

It would have definitely raised their confidence and given them the much-needed boost when they travel to Old Trafford, hence having the capacity to provide a tricky proposition for us.

One good news for United is that Wolves could potentially be without six first-team players when the two sides meet, with their goalscorer against Everton Daniel Podence also a doubt.

Along with Podence, Chiquinho, Pedro Neto and Sasa Kalajdzic are all ruled out while Boubacar Traore and Jonny face a race against time to be fit for selection.

Manchester United's Dutch manager Erik ten Hag reacts during the English League Cup fourth round football match between Manchester United and Burnley, at Old Trafford, in Manchester, on December 21, 2022
Manchester United’s Dutch manager Erik ten Hag would be aware of the importance to get three points against Wolverhampton Wanderers (Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)

At this point of the season where every game is crucial considering how our rivals have been performing, we cannot afford to slip up and the injuries in the Wolves squad do give us a little advantage.

However, we have seen numerous times that no team in the Premier League should be taken lightly irrespective of their players being unavailable as every team in the league is carrying a good bench strength.

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The early kick-off against Wolves is a crucial game for us as a win on Saturday gets us in the top four with pressure increasing on Tottenham Hotspur, who play their match the next day.